Ranchi, Sept. 9: Weighty names and clandestine contracts are tumbling out of the scam-tainted Deoghar closet.
While the Centre may take some time to put the CBI on the missing land trail, an extensive report submitted by Deoghar SP to the state police headquarters recently has held a bunch of government representatives — from the mayor and circle officer to a Baba Ramdev associate — responsible for the scam involving 840 acres.
In another development, Deoghar deputy commissioner K. Ravi Kumar today suspended head clerk of the district records room Amal Badai and clerk Niranjan Kumar Rai for theft of land documents.
The SPs report, sent to Ranchi a couple of days ago, is based on investigations into two cases lodged by the Deoghar police in connection with land deeds stolen from sealed boxes at the district records room.
Prasad has classified the accused into two categories.
The first is of illegal dealers who he has dubbed the land mafia. These people have not indulged in forging land records. Instead, they have used arm-twisting methods on land owners to buy acres at low price and sell them at higher rates. They played the role of middlemen, says the report, a copy of which is with The Telegraph.
The SP has named Deoghar mayor Rajya Narayan Khabare, alias Babloo Khabare, deputy mayor Sanjayanand Jha, district board members Dineshanand Jha, Abhishek Jha and Pramod Singh and two others — Shashi Singh and Munna Singh — in this category.
They have prevailed upon land-holders to sell palatial houses and acquired huge property, the SP has pointed out and recommended an income tax probe.
Prasads second category includes those who have directly tampered with land records to sell acres. The list includes Dhruv Narayan Parihast (now in jail), Sunil Khabare, Kameshwar Thakur, alias Gulli Thakur, Narayan Jha, Ritesh Khabare, Mritunjay Jha, Sanjay Singh, Subal Narauney, Gautam Sarkar and Badal Singh. None of them are government officials though.
The report said Parihast had amassed wealth by selling hundreds of acres in connivance with government officials. He owns a five-storey building in Deoghar town, besides dozens of shops, and is still not a tax assessee, it said.
On the other hand, Sunil Khabare, interestingly, heads the district unit of Swabhiman Manch, run by yoga practitioner Baba Ramdev.
The SPs report has cast serious aspersions on government officials. During investigations, it has come to light that former circle officer of Deoghar Siddharth Shankar Chaudhary, who was in additional charge of Mohanpur, connived with the mafia to transfer non-saleable land, the report said. Chaudhary is currently posted in Ranchi.
Prasad also recommended a probe into the roles of district revenue officials Yogendra Sharma, Manibhushan and Nityanand Jha.
Gross irregularities in the functioning of the district records room have surfaced too.
The records room neither has a register to show how many documents are missing nor has any FIR been lodged in this regard in the past. The successive deputy collectors have posted physically challenged persons as record keepers so that illegal work continues unabated. Record keepers Kamleshwar Prasad and Amod Barai were physically challenged, the report said.
One Jyotindra Prasad lost his eyesight in 2003 and yet continued to hold his post till January 2011. His son Sunil Kumar (in jail) worked on his behalf, it added.
Naresh Manjhi was another unauthorised person who was deputed at the records room from 1987 to 2006.
The SP, in his report, has recommended a probe on deputy collectors who had been in charge of the records room from 1987 to 2011.
When contacted today, Prasad confirmed that he had sent the report to the police headquarters after preliminary probe into the scam.
He said startling facts had come to the fore after they raided the residence of Naresh Manjhi. We stumbled upon at least eight documents and a diary, which gave various leads in the case, he added.
He pointed out that only one key to the records room had been found. Nobody knows where the duplicate is.
Prasad too pushed for a CBI probe on the ground that the local police will not be able to take the case to its logical end given the magnitude of the scam.
He has recommended confiscation of illegally acquired property and constituted a separate cell to receive complaints from individuals on illegal transfers of land.
Besides suspending the head clerk and a clerk, deputy commissioner Kumar has also sought stringent action against records room officer Mithilesh Jha for dereliction of duty.
The move follows a showcause to the employees and an inquiry report by a three-member committee comprising additional collector Ajit Shankar, land acquisition officer Pawan Kumar and present Deoghar circle officer Dhirendra Nath.